Posts Tagged 'snack'

Oatmeal Coconut Snack Bars

I snack a lot – in the office, in the car on the way home – basically, all the time. One of my principles is that a snack should be 4 grams of fat or less. Of course you can snack on lots of non-fat food like fruit.  Grapes that have been cleaned and separated,  for example, are good to eat when driving home.  I’m not much on carrots and celery unless I have dip, although slices of red or orange pepper are tasty.  I’ve gotten in the habit of carrying snack food with me at all times, lest I get ravenously hungry and stop for a bite to eat of some high fat goody.  I often carry what I refer to as “food bars”, the chewy bars you buy in the grocery, since they pack in a purse or pocket well. There are some bars that meet the 4 gram requirement, but a lot of the tastiest bars are 8 grams or more, and since they’re not that filling, it seems like a waste of fat grams (and money) to eat them often.

So I have been making my own food bars.  These snack bars, which were called “breakfast bars” when the recipe appeared in American Profile, are rather moister than store bought bars.  I packed them each separately in a zip top snack-size bag, and they kept and traveled well.  I also froze about half of them.

Oatmeal Coconut Snack Bars

1 cup quick oats
1 ½ cups apple juice
1 ½ cups all purpose flour
½ cup toasted wheat germ
¾ cup shredded sweetened coconut, divided
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup packed brown sugar
½ cup unsweetened applesauce
2 cups finely grated carrots
2 eggs, lightly beaten

Preheat oven to 350F. Spray a 9 x 13 inch baking pan with cooking spray.  Combine oatmeal and apple juice in a microwave safe bowl. Cover and heat on high for 2 minutes. Let stand for 10 minutes.

Lightly spoon flour into measuring cups and level with a knife.  In a large bowl, whisk together flour, wheat germ, 1/2  cup of the coconut, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.  In a separate bowl, whisk together brown sugar, applesauce, carrots and eggs.  Fold into flour mixture.  Add oatmeal mixture and stir until just blended.

Spoon into baking dish and sprinkle with remaining ¼ cup of coconut.  Bake 50-60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.  This makes 18 large bars at 2 grams of fat/bar.


Note:  These were good, but I wasn’t that crazy about the coconut, which I usually like. Somehow it didn’t go with the other flavors that well.  I’m going to experiment with other nuts, and maybe raisins or dried cranberries.  I’ll let you know how the experiments come out.


Chocolate Cherry Chewies

I am the original cookie monster.  Tell me there’s a holiday party and I’m there with a plate of cookies.


I can’t say I never met a cookie I didn’t like.  I’ve had a couple of cookie experiments that were barely good enough for dog biscuits (like the cookies in the lower left side of the photo above, a failed attempt at a low fat peanut butter cookie).  But I love cookies for much the same reason I love muffins – they re nice measured units.  You can eat them and know just how many fat grams you are eating. Eat a 3 gram cookie and have 3 grams of fat; take 2 and have 6 grams.  You can easily fit them in as a snack.  I try to keep my cookies between 2 and 4 grams of fat/cookie.  One of my Principles is that snacks should be 4 grams and under, so that you can eat lots of them.  You can also freeze most cookies, so you can create a freezer full of carefully-packed snacks to take out when the midnight munchies hit.  And of course, most of the time cookies are delicious.

Chocolate Cherry Chewies are the cookie that everyone says “these can’t be low fat” about.  They are VERY chocolaty, the outside is kind of crisp and the inside is chewy and melty.  They keep and freeze well.  The original recipe came from Cooking Light.

Chocolate Cherry Chewies

1  cup all purpose flour
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa
½ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 large egg
2/3 cup dried tart cherries
3 Tablespoons semisweet chocolate chips (I used really good chocolate to give it that extra flavor)
Cooking spray

Preheat oven to 350 degree.s  Coat baking sheets lightly with cooking spray.

Lightly spoon flour into measuring cup and level.  In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.  Place butter and sugar into large bowl of a mixer and beat at high speed until well-blended.  Add vanilla and egg and beat well.  Reduce mixer speed to low and gradually add flour mixture.  Be sure to scrape bowl and beaters.  Fold in cherries and chocolate chips.  This makes a very stiff dough that you can almost shape with your hands.

Drop by tablespoonful 2 inches apart on prepared baking sheet. Bake at 350 for 12 minutes or just until set (tops will begin to crack). Remove from oven and cool on pan for 5 minutes to allow cookies to firm up. Remove from pans and cool completely on wire racks.  Makes 30 cookies with 2.7 grams of fat/cookie.


Variation: I often make this with dried sweetened cranberries rather than cherries, because the cherries are sometimes hard to find.  They’re just as good.


I have lost 200 pounds. I did not do it through surgery – I don’t like knives and needles – or by joining a club, vigorous exercise, or rigorous dieting. I did it by gourmet cooking. To be precise, by cooking low fat, really delicious food. I love to cook as much as I love to eat. Food magazines are some of my favorite reading. I would feel deprived if I couldn’t have the sensuous experience of good food crossing my lips. This blog is about my perpetual feast, my passionate love of food, with recipes, photos, and occasional advice and principles that I have learned along the way.

More about me.

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